Johann and Helene Bremer Wemken and Ancestors

In 2008, Suzanne S. Bettac, professional genealogist, was engaged by Lucy Croft to research the Koenning and Wemken family lines. She contacted a representative of the Oldenburger Society for Family Research in the parish of Rastede (Germany) – Mr. Günter Oltmanns. He provided the name of a CD with compiled records which firmly established several generations of direct ancestors of Helene Catherine Margaretha Wemken Koenning. The information is presented via pedigree charts on the following links.

Johann Wemken Pedigree Chart (click to open link)

Helene Bremer Pedigree Chart (click to open link)


Bettac, Suzanne S., “Wemken Report,” 2008.

Oltmann, Günter, Die Familien der Kirchengemeinde Widfelstede (1650-31.12.1899).

Johannes “John” and Anna Margaretha “Margaret” Brumbach Kemmerer

In 2007, Patte Patterson Wood, a fellow Kemmerer/Camerer researcher, shared information about our mutual family line. Included was a copy of Part One of Everett R. Irwin’s book, The Life and Times of Our Kammerer Kin. Using some quotes and data from his well researched book, the following is a brief biographical sketch of the lives of Johannes “John” and Margaretha “Margaret” Brumbach Kemmerer.

Note: The surname is found spelled several ways – Kemmerer, Kammerer, Cammarrar, Cammarrar and Camerer (the most common spelling).

Being the son of German immigrants, Johannes Ludwig and Elizabeth Maurer Kemmerer, Johannes “John” was a first generation American. Irwin writes: “The name of Ludvig Kummerer was inscribed in German script in the church’s baptismal records as the father of twins born Aug. 17, 1743, and christened Oct. 17, 1743. The twins were listed as ‘son Johannes: godparents George Arnhold and frau Anna Maria’ and ‘a son Adam: godparents Georg Adam Wedel and frau Anna Maria.’  (John’s gravestone gives his birth date as Aug. 29, 1742). The twins’ mother was not identified in the baptismal record; the pastor apparently felt her role was not worthy of recognition.” (Irwin, p. 3) The twins were the first of the very large Kemmerer family which consisted of thirteen children.

Note: Evidently, the first son Adam died as a young child and a second son born on December 8, 1753 was named Adam.

When John and his twin brother, Adam, were born, Johannes Ludwig and Elizabeth lived in Monocacy, Frederick, Maryland. Monocacy was the first permanent settlement of Pennsylvania Germans in Maryland. It was located in the western part of the state  and was a small village consisting of a trading post, mill, blacksmith shop, tavern, a few log cabins and a tiny combination Lutheran church-schoolhouse. (Irwin, p.3)

By 1745, the Kemmerer family was living 30 miles northwest of Monocacy in Maryland’s Conococheague district across the Catoctin and Blue Ridge mountains. The family stayed in the area to raise their growing family. Irwin writes: “Most of their sons and daughters apparently were married in the Conococheague district – among them the twin named Johannes, who wed a girl named Margaretta (Margaretha).” (Irwin, p. 3)

Note: I do not have a marriage record for John and Margaretha but they probably married before 1766.

Anna Margaretha “Margaret” Brumbach was born in Borkenbach, Germany, and was the daughter of Johannes and Maria Elizabeth Brumbach.

Note: At this time, I have not found a date of immigration.

“When William Penn opened western Pennsylvania to settlement in 1769, Ludwig’s older, married sons and daughters headed for the new frontier.” (Irwin, p. 6) John and Margaret joined his brothers and sisters in moving from Maryland to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Irwin points out that it is likely all the brother and their wives did not make the mountain crossing in one party. A John Camara was listed in the 1783 Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Census. According to a patent record, 1425 acres of land was granted to John by the state of Pennsylvania in 1786 in Westmoreland County. He and his brothers Ludwig and Adam also were on the county tax list of 1786. (Irwin, p. 7)

Between the years of 1766 and 1793, John and Margaret had eleven children – John, Adam, Susan, Daniel, Anna Maria “Mary”, Margaret, Ludwig “Lewis”, Jacob, Catherine, Elizabeth and Esther. All are mentioned in John’s will signed March 24, 1829.

Johannes “John” Kemmerer died February 26, 1833 at the age of 90 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and was buried in the Brush Creek Cemetery. Anna Margaretha “Margaret” Kemmerer died February 18, 1841 at the age of 94 in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and was buried with her husband in Brush Creek Cemetery. Note: The birth date on tombstone (August 29, 1742) of John Kemmerer conflicts with date on his baptismal record (August 17, 1743) of Monocacy, Maryland Lutheran Church.

Johannes “John” Kemmerer Grave Marker


Irwin, Everett R., The Life and Times of Our Kammerer Kin, 1992.

John Kemmerer, Will Book no. 2, p. 279, Court House, Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. (Transcription)

Marriage and Death Notices From Weekly Newspapers, 1818-1865, Westmoreland Pennsylvania, Volume 1. Presented to the Library of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution by The Queen Alliquippa Chapter, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, 1962.

Weiser, Frederick, editor and translator, Maryland German Church Records, Volume 3, Baptismal records of the Monocacy Lutheran Congregation, and its successor, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland, 1742-1779, Noodle Coosey Press, Manchester, Maryland.

Westmoreland County Pennsylvania 1783 Census, Family Lines Publications, Westminster, Maryland.

Johannes “John” Kemmerer Family Group Sheet (click link) Johannes John Kemmerer FGS




Seraphin and Marieanna “Anne” Hubschwerlen LeBus

Both Seraphin and Marieanna “Anne” Hubschwerlen LeBus were born in Larigitzen, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France. He was the son of Ludwig and Sophia Martin LeBus and her parents were Sigismund and Anna Marie Mieschberger Hubschwerlen. The year of Seraphin’s birth was 1799 and Anna’s was 1803.

Before immigrating to America, Seraphin and Anne lived with their children in Alsace, France which is located on the eastern border of France on the west bank of the Rhine. It is adjacent to Germany and Switzerland, so it abounds in both French and German influences. Our LeBus ancestors resided in Alsace during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and those were years when its citizens were subjected to a number of conflicts greatly affecting their lives and wellbeing. In the mid-1820’s, the country was recovering from foreign occupation. A dramatic surge in population growth caused an economic depression resulting in hunger, housing shortages and lack of work. This may have been the reason for the LeBus family immigrating to America.(Letter regarding LeBus family – click link)

We have some documentation of this LeBus family in a transcription of Seraphin’s will dated 14th day of April A.D. 1868. Their four sons, Morandus, Lewis, Francis Joseph and Anthony along with two daughters, Anne Swaney and Mary Ewing are mentioned. They may have had two other daughters (Marieanna and Teresa) who died as infants but we have no information documenting that. (Last-Will-and-Testament-of-Seraphin-LeBus.pdf – click link)

Even though I have not located Seraphin LeBus and his family on a passenger list or found a naturalization record for him, I am led to believe they immigrated to America between 1826 and 1831, just before or after their second son, Anthony, was born April 11, 1828. The census records for him give his birth place as France and Pennsylvania, so that muddies the water a bit. Daughter Anne LeBus was born January 9, 1831 in Columbiana County, Ohio.

Between 1832 and 1838, Seraphin and Anne had four more children – Mary Elizabeth, Lewis, Teresa and Joseph. Less than a year after Joseph was born, Anne died on April 1, 1939 in Dungannon, Columbiana County, Ohio. She was buried in St. Paul’s Cemetery.

Seraphim Labes can be found in the 1840 United States Federal Census living in Hanover, Columbiana, Ohio with a household consisting of nine people. (Note misspelled name.) The 1840 census gives only the name of the head of household with age ranges for other members of the household. Listed are one male and one female under five years old; one male and two females between the ages of five and nine; two males between the ages of ten and fourteen; one male between the ages of thirty and thirty-nine; and one female between the ages of seventy and seventy-nine. Seraphin’s wife, Anne, died in April 1, 1839, so perhaps the older female was her mother.

When the 1850 United States Federal Census was taken, Seraphin was living in Hanover, Columbiana, Ohio, with six of his children – Anthony, Ann, Mary, Lewis, Theresa and Joseph. The name is misspelled as “Seraphim Lepus,” a common occurrence on census records. Seraphin was farming with the help of his two older sons, Anthony and Lewis.

I have not yet found Seraphin on the 1860 United States Federal Census, but he probably continued to live in Columbiana County. We have a transcription of his last will and testament signed on April 14, 1868. He died a short time later on June 12, 1868 in Dungannon and was buried with his wife, Anne, in St. Paul’s Cemetery.

Seraphin and Anne Lebus Grave Marker

Sources 1840 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. 1850 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Web: Ohio, Find A Grave Index, 1803-2011 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

Hubschwerlen, Eugene, Correspondence with Frank LeBus, February 8, 1937, Largitzen, France.

LeBus, Seraphin, Last Will and Testament of Seraphin LeBus, Transcription, April 14, 1868, Columbiana, Ohio.

Seraphin LeBus Pedigree Chart (click link)

Seraphin LeBus FGS (click link)



James Patterson and Sarah Powers Caulk

Using information from the Ancestry website, here is a time line for James Patterson and Sarah Powers Caulk.


James Patterson Caulk was born about 1794 in Kentucky. His parents were Jacob and Abigail Patterson Caulk. No birth records have been found to document this information.


Sarah Powers was born April 5, 1802 in North Carolina. Her parents were Ephraim and Christiana Cahoon Powers. No birth records have been found to document this information.


Sometime before 1820, James Patterson Caulk and Sarah Powers met and married, probably in Tennessee. When the 1820 United States Federal Census was enumerated on August 7, 1820, James was listed (only the name of the head of household was given) and living in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Data given was one male under the age of 10, one male between ages of 16-25, and one female between ages of 16-25. The child would have been William Henderson Caulk. James was engaged in agriculture.

“From Tennessee, in 1821, came Ephraim Powers and his family, with his sons-in-law James Caulk and Joshua Perkins. The discomfitures of frontier life and the prevalence of disease caused dissatisfaction and they returned to their old home in the south, but in 1824 were back in Macoupin County Powers first settled on the place improved by Richard Wilhelm.” (History of Macoupin County, Illinois)


Between 1822 and 1829, James and Sarah had five more children – Benjamin Franklin, Martha, James Nathaniel, Narcissa Christianna, and Sarah Jane. All were born in Rutherford County, Tennessee.


When the 1830 United States Federal Census was taken, James, Sarah and their family were living in Macoupin County, Illinois. Again the census only gave the name of the head of household. Data on the census indicates there were five children, two boys and three girls. Evidently, one of their children was deceased. I think it may have been Benjamin Franklin.


Between 1831 and 1842, the Patterson family grew. Five more children were born – Allen Monroe, Hardena Sofrony, Mary Abigail, Jacob Harry, and John Lafayette.


A land record from the Illinois Public Land Purchase Records (found on the Ancestry website) indicates that James P. Caulk purchased 8000 acres of land in Illinois on March 7, 1836.


James Caulk and family appear on the 1840 United States Federal Census living in Macoupin County, Illinois. Only head of household is listed by name. Household included 1 male between 5-9; 1 male between 10-14; 1 male between 15-19; 1 male between 40-49; 2 females under 5; 2 females 10-14; 2 females 30-39. James was employed in agriculture.

A land record from the U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 (found on the Ancestry website) indicates that James P. Caulk purchased land in Illinois on January 1, 1840.


James Patterson Caulk died on November 30, 1842 in Macoupin County, Illinois. At this time, I do not have a death or burial record for James P. Caulk. His wife, Sarah, was buried in the Kirkland Cemetery in Montgomery County. I contacted the Montgomery County Genealogical Society in 2009 and was told that it is possible he was buried in this cemetery but there was no stone present for James P. Caulk when the cemetery was “read” in 2000.


Sarah Caulk was located on the 1850 United States Federal Census. She was living in Macoupin County, Illinois. Two of her children, Jacob and Hardena, were included in the listing.


Sarah Caulk was located on the 1870 United States Federal Census in the residence of her son, Jacob H., and his wife, Mary Jane. They lived in Madison County, Illinois. I was not able to find Sarah on the 1860 or 1870 censes. It is likely she lived with one of her children.


Sarah Caulk died on April 7, 1878 in Sorento, Montgomery, Illinois. She was buried in the Kirkland Cemetery.

Sarah Caulk Grave Marker

Sources 1820 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT:, Inc., 2004. 1830 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT; The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. 1840 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT:, Inc., 2004. 1850 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generation Network, Inc., 2005. 1870 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003. U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2008. Web: Illinois, Find A Grave Index, 1809-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

State of Illinois, Illinois Land Records. [database online] Orem, UT: Ancestry, Inc., 1999.

U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current,

Walker, Hon. Charles A., History of Macoupin County, Illinois, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1911.

James P. Caulk Family Group Sheet (click link) James P. Caulk FGS

John and Charity Taylor May

Using information from two well researched books – Ann K. Blomquist’s Taylors and Tates of the South, and Jim W. Kuhlman’s The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch – here is a time line for John and Charity Taylor May.


Charity Taylor, the oldest child of James and Ann Owen Taylor, was born June 6, 1757, in Cumberland, Virginia. (See notes below)


John May, son of James Harvey and Elizabeth King May, was born November 1760 in Essex County, Virginia.


John began his service in the Revolutionary War in April 1777, in Henry County, Virginia. His company served for 3 months in Christy’s Campaign against the Cherokee Indians.


John May and Charity Taylor were married June 24, 1779 in Henry County, Virginia.


Beginning in December of 1779, John was a “mounted gunman”and served for 12 months.


John served the third time in the summer of 1781 as a substitute for Mile Jennings (military).


John and Charity had 9 children between 1780 & 1794 – Phalby, son, Isabelle, Leroy, son, William, son, son and Charity.


John May was listed in the tax records beginning in 1782. He did not own land at that time, but he owned and was taxed on 2 horses and 5 head of cattle. He continued to appear in the tax lists in 1786, 1788, 1789, 1790, 1791, 1793 and 1794. In 1787, his tax included slaves that he owned.


In January 1783, John bought 119 acres of land on Marrowbone Creek from father-in-law, James Taylor.


John and Charity May had 5 more children between 1796 & 1803, son, Nellie, George, Mary and Peter.


John May sells Marrowbone Creek land and the May family “began moving as a pioneer family.” John May bought 120 acres on the south side of the Swannanoa River (Buncombe County, North Carolina) in October 1797. Later he added 50 more acres and then, in 1807, he sells all 170 acres to a James Wilson.


During 1807 & 1814, it is not known where the May family lived.“However, since a John May was listed in 1812 Franklin Co. TN voters list, and their son Leroy May made his home in Franklin Co. for many years, it seems reasonable to believe that the Mays lived in the Franklin Co. area.” (Blomquist)


In Grainger County, TN, John May bought a female slave name Silah from his father-in-law, James Taylor, for $400. In August 1816, he also purchased 359 ¾ acres in Blount County, TN from David Dearman. He later sold 249 acres of this tract to his wife’s kinsman, Daniel Taylor, son of Daniel Taylor and grandson of James Taylor.


On September 3, 1816, Charity writes a letter to either Martha Pittman or Edward Adams. In it, she stated that she had 13 children, but 2 sons died in TN. She states that 2 sons and 3 daughters are married at that time, with one of girls, Nellie, married to a Cherokee Indian. Charity was 59 years old, an old age considering the times and conditions. (See notes below)


John and Charity appear on the 1830 census of McMinn Co., TN.


In 1832, both John May and his brother William May filed for pensions as Revolutionary War veterans.


John May died December 28, 1839 in Polk Co., TN. In 1839, Polk Co. was formed from part of McMinn Co., so there is some question about where John and Charity were living when they died.


Charity May was included in the 1840 United States Federal Census with the James Hawkins household (son-in-law & daughter, Mary).


Charity May died December 27, 1842 in Polk Co., TN.


Adams, Lela C., Abstracts of Deed Books 5 & 6 of Henry County, Virginia, 1979. 1800 United States Federal Census [database online], Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. 1830 United States Federal Census [database online], Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.

Bell, George M., Genealogy of Old and New Cherokee Indian Families, 1972.

Blomquist, Ann K., Taylors and Tates of the South, Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, 1993.

Blount County, Tennessee, Deed Books 1 & 2, County Clerk’s Office, Maryville, Tennessee.

Bunscombe County, Deed Books 3 & 4, A & B, 10 & 14, County Clerk’s Office, Asheville, North Carolina.

Crozier, William Armstrong, editor, Virginia County Records, Volume II, Virginia Colonial Militia, 1651-1776, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Maryland, 1986.

Dodd, Virginia Anderton, Henry County, Virginia Marriage Bonds, 1778-1849.

“Franklin County, Tennessee Historical Review,” 1988.

Grainger County, Deed Book C, County Clerk’s Office, Rutledge, Tennessee.

Henry County, Deed Books 2 & 3, County Clerk’s Office, Martinsville, Virginia.

Henry County, marriage record, County Clerk’s Office, Martinsville, Virginia.

Henry County, Tax Records, 1782-1979, County Clerk’s Office, Martinsville, Virginia.

James Taylor, will, County Clerk’s Office, Rutledge, Tennessee.

Kuhlman, Jim W., The History of the Nance Hereford Ranch, 1996.

Sheffield, Ella, Grainger County, Tennessee Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions Record Book 3, 1812-1816, 1983.

Starr, Emmett, Old Cherokee Families, Baker Publishing Co., 1987.

Stewart, William C., Gone to Georgia, 1965.

White, Virgil D., Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files, Volume II: F-M, The National Historical Publishing Co., Waynesboro, Tennessee, 1991.


  1. Charity May was the first of the 9 children of James Taylor and Ann Owen. She was probably born in Cumberland Co., VA and spent her childhood there, but about 1770, her parents moved to the part of Pittsylvania Co., VA that later became Henry Co. Like all of the Taylor daughters, Charity was educated, so she could read and write. (Blomquist, p. 88)
  2. Current information also indicates that 3 of Charity’s children married Cherokee Indians. Nellie married William Rogers (1/16 Cherokee) who came from a prominent Cherokee family. Peter married Alzira (1/16 Cherokee), a daughter of Looney Price and Nannie Rogers. And George married Mary Jane Upton whose mother was a Cherokee. This is family lore and has not been documented. (Blomquist, p. 90)
  3. Charity May’s letter transciption. Charity-Mays-Letter.pdf (click link)

John May Family Group Sheet (click link) John May FGS